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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service release new campaign against avoidable fires as summer fire-setting across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, and Moray reaches new high

By Abbie Duncan

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DELIBERATE fire-setting has reached a three year high during summer months across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, and Moray, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has revealed.

Last summer, firefighters were forced to attend around 174 needless fires during the months of June, July and August, an increase from 150 fires the previous summer.

These fires were largely outdoor incidents impacting grasslands and refuse, but also included building and vehicle fires.

The statistics were released by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as part of its Safer Summer campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of deliberate or avoidable fire setting.

Area Commander Chay Ewing, the Local Senior Officer for Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray has urged everyone to play their part in reducing the risk of fire - particularly parents and carers.

He said: "Deliberate fire-setting is as needless as it is unacceptable.

"We are proud of our educational and prevention work, but it is true that parents, carers, and members of the public can all help us here by engaging with young people and laying bear the costs and consequences of starting a fire.

"When a young person deliberately starts a fire, they are risking their safety, their future, and the welfare of others. Firefighters are also being dragged away from genuine emergencies.

"Our prevention work will continue across the country, but it goes without saying that we take deliberate fire-setting very seriously and will always work with our partners in Police Scotland to identify those responsible.”

Avoidable outdoor fires have also reached a seasonal three year high across the region.

Firefighters attended 138 fires in the open last summer, up from 92 in the summer of 2020.

Fires in the open are often set deliberately or are caused by negligence from the public. They can cause huge damage to vast areas of landscape and wildlife and have the potential to burn for days.

Area Commander Ewing said: "Outdoor fires can spread very quickly and can cause huge damage – both to areas of countryside and indeed can spread quickly within tents and caravans.

"We understand that people will, of course, want to take to the countryside and holiday in Scotland this year. But please be careful and bear in mind that human behaviour can drive the risk of fire down significantly."

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's #SaferSummer campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of deliberate fire-setting and promote the need for holidaymakers and countryside users to remain safe this summer.

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